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  • Langley AFB Page LA2-1


    This section details the actions that would occur at Langley AFB, Virginia, and in its associated training airspace if Langley were selected for the beddown of the Initial F-22 Operational Wing.

    LA2.1 Langley AFB: Base

    Four elements of this proposed action have the potential to affect Langley AFB. These four elements are (1) drawdown (removal) of F-15Cs and beddown of F-22s, (2) sorties by F-22s, (3) construction, and (4) personnel changes. Each is explained below.

    LA2.1.1 Drawdown of F-15Cs/Beddown of F-22s

    Langley AFB, as the proposed action, is the Air Force’s preferred location for establishing the first F-22 Operational Wing. Implementing the beddown of the Initial F-22 Operational Wing at Langley AFB would result in the least disruption to overall Air Combat Command (ACC) and Air Force readiness. A total of 72 Primary Aircraft Inventory (PAI) F-22 aircraft, divided into three squadrons of 24 aircraft, would comprise the proposed wing. In addition, each squadron would receive two Backup Inventory Aircraft (BAI) F-22s as replacements for operational aircraft requiring maintenance or otherwise out of service. The F-22 beddown would start in September 2004 with delivery of the first F-22 to the base. By June 2007, when the full complement of 72 F-22s would be at the base, the beddown would be completed.

    The F-22 would replace the 66 PAI and 6 BAI F-15Cs at Langley AFB. Timing of the F-15C replacement would generally match the beddown of F-22s (Table LA 2.1-1), but the F-15Cs would be removed at a slightly faster rate than the beddown of the F-22s. At no time would the combination of F-22s and F-15Cs on base exceed the final total of 72 PAI and 6 BAI (2 BAI in each of the three squadrons) F-22s proposed for the wing.

    Langley AFB also supports a few other aircraft types including the F-16 fighter (4) and the C-21 transport (6) for a baseline total of 82 aircraft. Aircraft belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center and various transient aircraft (visitors), including the A-10, B-1, and C-5 also use the airfield. At completion of the beddown, the base would support 88 (PAI and BAI) aircraft and would continue to be used by transients and NASA-Langley Research Center aircraft.

    The Air Force proposes to drawdown Langley AFB’s F-15C operational squadrons concurrently with the F-22 beddown.

    PAI consists of the F-22s authorized and assigned to perform the wing’s missions. BAI includes F-22s used as substitutes for PAI aircraft undergoing maintenance or otherwise unable to fly.

  • Initial F-22 Operational Wing Beddown Draft EIS

    Page LA2-2 Langley AFB

    Table LA2.1-1. Proposed F-22 Beddown and F-15C Drawdown Schedule: Langley AFB

    Year Based F-15C PAI Aircraft

    F-22 PAI Aircraft

    Total PAI1 Aircraft

    Baseline 66 0 66

    2004 53 7 60

    2005 28 32 60

    2006 2 58 60

    2007 0 72 72 Note: 1. Totals include only F-15C and F-22 aircraft.

    LA2.1.2 Sorties

    Like existing F-15C squadrons at Langley AFB, the operational F-22 squadrons would be integrated into the Air Force’s Expeditionary Air Force (EAF) Construct. The EAF Construct grew out of the need for the United States to deploy forces worldwide despite the reduction in United States overseas basing and personnel. Under the EAF, the Air Force has divided its forces into 10 Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEFs) and 2 Aerospace Expeditionary Wings (AEWs) to make worldwide deployments more predictable and manageable. An AEF is a “packaged” group of different types of aircraft with a mix of capabilities suited to the tasking to overseas locations for about 90 days. These AEFs consist of wings or squadrons from multiple United States bases, and may operate as a unit or be integrated with other forces overseas. Pre- and/or post-deployment training at locations other than a “home” base also occurs for about another 30 days out of the year. Squadrons or wings are rotated into the AEF program on a 15-month cycle.

    The Air Force anticipates that by 2007, the Initial F-22 Operational Wing would fly 11,187 sorties per year from Langley AFB. Based on projected requirements and deployment patterns under the AEF program, the F-22 Operational Wing would fly an additional 5,760 sorties at overseas airfields during deployments, or at other locations for exercises or in preparation for deployments. On average, each squadron (24 PAI aircraft) would be deployed for 120 days per year (90 days AEF and 30 days for pre- or post-AEF training); this equates to a single squadron being deployed all year. In addition, each squadron would participate in training exercises and operate out of another United States or overseas base for an average of one week per year, flying another 333 sorties (or 111 sorties per squadron) at remote locations other than Langley AFB. Some of these missions would involve ordnance delivery training or missile firing at approved ranges such as the Nellis Range Complex in Nevada, Utah Test and Training Range, or Eglin AFB’s over-water ranges in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The 11,187 F-22 sorties at Langley AFB would represent an increase of 1,251 annual sorties above total baseline levels (Table LA 2.1-2). This approximate 7 percent increase in total sorties occurs because of two factors: six more aircraft (72 F-22s minus the 66 F-15Cs for a total of six more F-22 aircraft) and the increased sortie rate by the

    Beddown of F-22s at Langley AFB would result in approximately a 7 percent increase in total sorties.

  • Initial F-22 Operational Wing Beddown Draft EIS

    Langley AFB Page LA2-3

    F-22s (20 sorties per aircraft per month) as compared to the lower rate of the F-15C (18 sorties per aircraft per month). After completion of the beddown, the F-22s would perform about 60 percent of total sorties at the base. Currently, F-15Cs account for 57 percent of the total sorties.

    Table LA2.1-2. Comparison of Baseline F-15C and Projected F-22 Annual Sorties

    Baseline Sorties Projected Sorties

    F-15C 9,936 F-22 11,187 Total All Aircraft 17,5311 Total All Aircraft 18,7821 Note: 1. Includes 7,595 sorties by other based and transient aircraft.

    The F-22s would employ similar departure, closed patterns, and landing procedures as currently used by the F-15Cs at the base. F-22 operations would adhere to existing restrictions, avoidance procedures, and the quiet-hours program at Langley AFB. However, the F-22’s power would allow it to accelerate more quickly to climb speed and throttle back its power sooner (only 2 miles past the departure end of the runway). In contrast, the F-15Cs maintain a higher power setting throughout their climb. Overall, this capability of the F-22 would result in lower noise exposure in the airfield environment as the aircraft takes off.

    The F-22 would fly the same percentage (30 percent) of sorties after dark (i.e., about 1 hour after sunset) as the F-15Cs under the Air Force’s initiative to increase readiness. Approximately 5 percent (out of the total 30 percent) of the after-dark sorties are expected to occur during environmental night (10:00 pm to 7:00 am), which is identical to the F-15Cs. The rest are expected to occur about 1 hour after sunset. While the percentages of environmental night operations would not change with beddown of operational F-22s, the total annual sorties during this period would increase by 62, or by less than 1 per flying day (260 flying days/year).

    The F-15Cs at Langley AFB currently take off with afterburner about 5 percent of the time (personal communication, Day 2000). Historically, this percentage has ranged from as low as 5 percent up to 60 percent, depending on mission requirements and factors such as temperature and humidity. The F-22s are expected to use the afterburner 5 percent of the time or less to take off.

    LA2.1.3 Construction

    In order to support F-22 operations, additional infrastructure and facilities would be required at Langley AFB (Table LA2.1-3). A total of 26 demolition, construction, modification, or infrastructure improvement projects would be undertaken from 2002 to 2004 (Figure LA2.1-1).

    A sortie is the flight of a single aircraft from takeoff through landing. F-15Cs annually fly 9,936 sorties from Langley AFB.

    Environmental night (10:00 pm to 7:00 am) is the period when the effects of aircraft noise on people are accentuated.

  • Initial F-22 Operational Wing Beddown Draft EIS

    Page LA2-4 Langley AFB

    Table LA2.1-3. Proposed Construction and Modification for Langley AFB




    Affected Area In Acres

    2002 Fighter Squadron Operations/ Maintenance Hangar

    Demolish and Construct


    2002 Base Operations/Weather Building Construct 0.23 2002 Low Observable Composite Repair Facility Construct 1.46 2002 Airfield Lighting Vault Construct 0.05 2002 Flightline Infrastructure Upgrade NA 2002 Operations/Logistics Group Repair NA 2002 Distinguished Visitor Route Landscape Repair1 Repair NA 2003 Flight Simulator Building

    (Building 365) Demolish and

    Construct 0.09

    2003 Flightline Kitchen Construct 0.18 2003 Fighter Squadron Operations/

    Maintenance Hangar Demolish and

    Construct 3.26

    2003 Aerospace Ground Equipment Fuel Tanks Construct 0.23 2003 Various Munitions Facilitie